3. Emotions Have Their Own Emotions – Inside Out
Pixar’s Inside Out is a thoroughly beloved movie, and is often considered among the studio’s best. In fact, it’s so well-written that it’s actually sometimes used as a form of therapy to help people better understand and process their own emotions. That should appropriately set the scene for how strange and nonsensical this particular aspect of the film truly is.
Inside Out‘s main characters each represent one of the key emotions of the film’s human protagonist, Riley. These basic emotions are Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger. Each one fittingly embodies the emotion that they’re named for. Makes perfect sense so far, doesn’t it.
That is, until each emotion starts feeling other emotions. Most notably, Joy is seen crying, and Sadness can be spotted smiling. If the emotions themselves can feel their own emotions, it creates an existential rabbit hole down which the entire movie begins to slip. It’s obviously done for simple anthropomorphism, but it subtly undermines the premise of the movie, because it simply doesn’t make any sense.